A Proton-M rocket carrying the ExoMars 2016 spacecraft blasts off from the launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome. Objectives: to search for possible biosignatures of Martian life, past or present. to characterize the water and geochemical distribution as a function of depth in the shallow subsurface. to study the surface environment and identify hazards to future manned missions to Mars. to investigate the planet's subsurface and deep interior to better understand the evolution and habitability of Mars. achieve incremental steps ultimately culminating in a sample return flight.